The biggest mistakes dentists make: Not relying on experts for guidance


Dr. Roger P. Levin highlights the mistake many dentists make in not relying on experts in critical areas.

Based on his extensive experience with dentists over the past 30 years, Dr. Roger P. Levin has authored a book entitled The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make. His premise is simple. As he says in the introduction, “We can learn from our mistakes. But isn’t it better to learn from other people’s mistakes?”

Following is an excerpt from the book.

More from Dr. Roger P. Levin: The biggest mistakes dentists make: Not analyzing the practice as a business

Mistake #31: Not Relying on Experts for Guidance in Critical Areas 

Even though most dentists know very little about management, they end up running a small yet complex business. Like any other small company, a dental practice benefits from professional management … yet neither the dentist nor the typical office manager has the background to provide it.

Unfortunately, many dentists seem to think that, because it’s their practice, they must handle all the high-level decision making personally (actually, they are often micromanagers as well, trying to handle many low-level tasks personally). This is a big mistake.

Related article: Tips for dealing with micromanagers in the dental practice

You may be an excellent dentist, but you probably have little or no expertise in such areas as technology, accounting, personal financial planning, legal affairs, tax law, etc. These highly specialized areas are best put in the hands of experts. They can help you make the right decisions and implement them effectively. In my experience, dentists who hire experts are more successful.

Practice consulting serves as an excellent example. Prior to the Great Recession, some dentists built successful practices even though they lacked business skills and didn’t rely on outside experts. Many others fell short of their potential but still got by. Now, far more practices are flat or even beginning a downward spiral. This is a situation where outside expertise has become crucial. These underperforming practices need help which will only come into play if the dentists access experts who know how to guide the office through a turnaround scenario.

Reliance on outside experts is crucial in other areas as well … accounting procedures, legal issues, technology investments, etc. One of the classic examples is terminating an employee for cause without following the proper protocols. If that employee ends up suing, there is a good chance that the doctor will have to agree to a settlement even though the termination was justified. Such problems can be avoided by consulting with experts (in this case, a lawyer).

Learn more: Fire right: 3 steps to legal, humane employee termination in the dental practice

Don’t wait too long to get advice from experts who have already done-time and time again-what you’re trying to accomplish. It makes no sense to avoid accessing this resource.

It is penny-wise and pound-foolish. Surround yourself with experts and you will make progress faster than ever before. 

The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make is available here for just $59.

Do you know where your practice stands? Find out with Levin Group’s new 30-Minute Practice Assessment! Spend 30 minutes on the phone with a dental management expert … free. It’s your opportunity to see how your practice compares, discover your revenue potential and discuss any business challenge you’re facing, at no charge. To schedule your assessment, call 888-973-0000 or email

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